how-will-you-innovateThis project will in co-production mode develop, disseminate, and integrate relevant, user-friendly and efficient support methods and tools for sustainable product-service system innovation into business leaders’, business developers’ and product developers’ working environments that enable and inspire industry to thrive in the changing global context.

Manufacturing companies have traditionally focused their design and development activities on realizing the technical and engineered aspects of physical artifacts. The changed business climate during the twentieth century have forced industries to continuously innovate their approach toward the development of new products, where in the last decades the competition on the global market has driven manufacturing companies to reconsider the traditional concept of goods production and start delivering value based product-service offerings. Gaining competitive advantage and expanding market shares is not achievable purely through continuous technical improvements; rather, it is necessary to develop closer relationship to the customer to gain a deeper understanding of expectations, needs, and perceived value, while also acting on the global sustainability challenges and impacts that have a significant impact on our society and come with a set of risks and opportunities from a business perspective.

The research focus is model-driven sustainable product-service system innovation. The concept of model-driven means that throughout the development process using models (virtual representation of reality) as communication media in order to shorten development cycles and improve multidisciplinary understanding. The methods and tools will also be unique in that they will help putting PSS in the context of social and ecological sustainability, which will broaden the traditional focus of individual organizations acting reactively on known environmental problems to organizations acting jointly, proactively and strategically on the remaining gap to sustainability.

Vision

An internationally leading research environment and the first-hand choice of partners who want to lead the way to a sustainable society through competitive product-service systems.

Industrial relevance

The industrial relevance is threefold:

  1. increased capabilities to mitigate risks and take informed decisions early on,
  2. increased opportunities to bring new sustainability-driven innovations to the market and
  3. facts, research findings and results that help industry undertake the necessary changes on several levels that are necessary to stay competitive.

Objectives

This center has its base in the Knowledge Foundation (KKS) profile project application based on a vision and objective regarding model driven development and decision support for sustainable product-service system (PSS) innovation.

The profile project builds on the successful integration of research in mechanical engineering, strategic sustainable development and applied IT that have given BTH a stronghold in education and research related to the challenges mentioned in the executive summary and below. The profile project will serve to further grow the strengths and support the development of the less developed areas of research in order to reach the objectives of being a strong international actor.

Aspects of the expansion and renewal, becoming possible with a profile project, include:

  • Stronger and more intimate co-production with existing industry partners and also addition of new partners that BTH has not worked with at the research level before.
  • Creation of both functional region excellence (research focus in profile project) on the national and international level, and geographical region excellence (building co-production and dual excellence in proximity) to ensure strong ties for further development.
  • More operational methods and tools for model driven development and decision support for sustainable product-service system innovation, validated through major demonstrators with industry partners.
  • Increased capacity (number of people with co-production abilities) within the areas of mechanical engineering, strategic sustainable development and innovation management, making it possible to tackle the complex challenges that global businesses are facing.
  • Stronger focus on the early phases of design and development when dealing with sustainable product-service innovation offerings than before.
  • Reaching critical mass, momentum and recognition as a top international research environment in sustainable product-service system development and innovation.
  • Financial objectives
    • establish baseline funding, and keep a rich mix of funding sources to maintain financial robustness,
    • increase the ratio of external to governmental funding from some 50 % to 70 % and,
    • significantly increase the direct industry funding and EU funding.

PROJECT DATA

The research center is created with the base in the KK Foundation Profile Project Model Driven Development and Decision Support, and then scaled from that.

Project leader: Prof Tobias Larsson

Time span: 2013-2018 (6 years)

Funding: 110 MSEK (36 MSEK Knowledge Foundation profile funds)

Partners: